Improving MS Care
Multiple Sclerosis can have profound effects beyond physical problems. MS can also affect family life, career, standard of living and quality of life. MS also creates special concerns related to health care: Do individuals with MS have access to quality health care and adequate health insurance? Can people with MS access appropriate medical specialists? Investigators funded through the National MS Society’s Health Care Delivery and Policy Research Program study such issues and provide data that can serve as the basis for influencing public policy and offering people with MS and their families practical ways for improving the quality of their care and of their lives.
With the help of its volunteer Health Care Delivery and Policy Research Advisory Committee, the Society establishes priority areas each year and releases a request for proposals which is widely distributed to investigators in the field. In addition, the Society has opened up its HCDPR program to accept investigator-initiated health policy studies in MS on any pertinent topic. Click here to read more about this funding program.
Here are some important reports from researchers funded through the Society's HCDPR contracts:
- A study focusing on family members of people with MS with moderate to severe physical disabilities highlights the unique demographics of this population and their need for support. Read more about this study.
- A Harvard-based study of insurance coverage involving a nationwide sampling of people with multiple sclerosis found that although they had higher than average rates of insurance coverage, many experienced financial strain related to obtaining adequate health care, including paying for their medications. Read more about this study.
- A UCLA study sought to define what constitutes quality MS health care and how to measure it to establish better standards of care for people with MS. Read about the findings reported at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers.